"I don't like taking silver medals, but I'll take one to a great white," Phelps said after losing his highly anticipated race.
The race, which was part of Discovery Channel's Shark Week, consisted of Phelps swimming beside a computer simulation of a shark.
Since sharks don't swim in a straight line, its time of 36.1 seconds was calculated by measuring sharks in different situations to determine its average speed. Phelps was given a fin and suit that mimicked shark skin to help even the playing field.
The 23-time Olympic Gold Medal winner lost by just two seconds.
While some viewers were impressed with Phelps' performance, others seemed disappointed that the two competitors were not technically swimming side-by-side.
IF I WANTED A CGI SHARK I WOULD'VE WATCHED SHARKNADO MICHAEL!!— La Micki Minach (@sebastalama) July 24, 2017
As for Phelps, he's ready to try again, perhaps with a home field advantage.